Summer Styling with S J Forbes

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Hayley Gibson-Forbes, Director of S J Forbes, reveals her top tips for styling hair this summer.

When it comes to styling hair for the summer, I like to give clients tips on must-have products and go-to styles that will keep them looking on trend, effortless and fresh - from poolside through to cocktails regardless of heat and humidity levels.


Braids have become a summer style staple and for good reason: they’re easy to achieve, long-lasting, look effortlessly stylish and can be dressed up or down to suit the occasion. I would advise going for a messy braid before heading to the beach. It’s a style that’s easier to create in dry hair and it won’t matter that it will get messier as the day goes on. As an alternative, crown braids are not only gorgeous, but they’re practical for a day at the beach or by the pool, as hair is pulled away from the face, leaving you more comfortable in the heat.

To recreate the crown braid or scalp braid; with plenty of volume, prep hair with mousse before rough-drying. To encourage maximum volume, reapply the mousse once the hair is dry. Create a scalp braid that follows the top section of the crown, pulling hair away from your face. The ends of the hair can then either be tied up in to a top-knot, pulled back in to a chic pony or can be left loose.

If you’re going to go for dual braids, boxing braids with a middle parting look particularly stylish. As your parting will be exposed to the sun make sure you apply a high factor SPF, as you would anywhere else on your skin. Your scalp is particularly sensitive to sunburn. After a dip in the pool or sea, towel dry hair and then apply Kérastase Soleil CC Crème to smooth the hair while nourishing it and protecting it from UV rays. Using a comb smooth the hair and divide into braids. Later in the evening, when hair has completely dried, remove the braids and use fingers to tousle lightly. The end result is textured waves, perfect for post-beach cocktails. For an (even) easier poolside alternative to braids, try grown-up pigtails. Tong long hair in to dishevelled waves and then loosely tie in to two bunches using black leather for a look that’s part-boho, part-rock chick. Again, don’t forget the sunscreen through the parting!


Beach waves are a no-brainer for summer holiday styling. Quick to create and easy to maintain, even when exposed to chlorine and seawater, they are gorgeous, relaxed and undone, which is exactly how hair should look on holiday.

To create beach waves without braiding; in hair that has a slight natural kink to it, a salt spray is ideal: it offers intense texture and a tousled, just-off-the-beach effect. Clients should keep sea salt spray in their beach bag and whenever hair needs an extra boost in curl or volume, just reapply. For clients with unruly thick, frizzy hair or difficult curls that need taming in to beautiful waves, try an intense control smoothing serum, which creates serious shine, smoothes, moisturises and tames unruly curls. Use only a small quantity and add it to the hair both before you blow-dry and again once you’ve finished, or apply to damp hair and let it air-dry. Look for a serum with a 24-hour humidity protection and UV filter, so that hair is not only nourished and styled, but also protected for the summer season.

If you only have room to pack one styling product, at S J Forbes we recommend that it’s Kérastase Elixir Ultime. This beautifying treatment enriched with four precious oils is a holiday must-have for all hair types. A few drops added to the hair either pre-wash to prepare locks, pre-blow-dry on the mid-lengths and ends to nourish protect and add shine, or as a finishing product to reduce flyaways, adds serious nourishment and shine.

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